Minnesota Republicans To Pick Koch Successor Next Week

Friday, December 23rd, 2011 at 8:41 am

The contest to replace former Senate majority leader Amy Koch is expected to be resolved at the Capitol next week. Most of the leading candidates to replace Koch are not talking publicly in the wake of her shocking resignation amid the recent scandal.

Koch, of Buffalo, unexpectedly resigned the Senate’s top post last week and said she wouldn’t run for re-election next year. A day later, four of her colleagues told the media that Koch, who is married, had been confronted about an inappropriate relationship with a Senate employee. Koch is said to have admitted the relationship was happening, but she has not returned repeated phone calls from the AP.

Koch’s sudden departure has heightened the interest around selecting her successor. WCCO reports that the two leading contenders are Sen. David Hann of Eden Prairie and Sen. Dave Senjem of Rochester, but neither have spoken to reporters about the topic. Both lost to Koch for the majority leader post last year, and they represent two factions of the 37-member caucus.

The new majority leader will have some tough issues to address when the 2012 legislative session begins next month. The leader will need to unite a caucus that is divided over the scandal and facing some big issues, namely the push by the Minnesota Vikings for a $1.1 billion stadium which would be partially funded by tax dollars.

The replacement will have to be selected by Dec. 29, according to caucus bylaws requiring an election within two weeks of a resignation such as Koch’s.

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